My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
To view pictures in larger format, just click on any picture for the picture gallery....

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Youngsters at Arundel.

Was down with Mum today and the sun was out and a gentle but cool breeze. Much nicer temperature than recently. Being midweek and quiet we went off to the Wetland Centre at Arundel. Generally it was very quiet, but at the feeder station is was very busy!

The hides at Arundel are very good with sensibly sized window. Also in every hide there is a very good window for wheelchair users, with a recess to get the front of the chair and the "rider's" legs underneath and allow the watcher to get right up close. Excellent!

Some of today's subjects at the feeders
Female Chaffinch.

Rather weary looking Great Tit. Think it might be a male parent.

Rather dapper male Greenfinch

And a Ragged Robin..

Just as we were about to move on, a visit from a Nuthatch kept us there for a little while. This adult was coming backwards and forwards and later on a juvenile joined others at the feeder. Too quick for me however!

A few Goldfinches dropped by..

and from one hide, this young Moorhen eyed us curiously.

Further around, a black-headed gull preened poised on a post

Further out, two young birds caught my eye - I think they are young Shovellers

There were a couple of adults around and one took off as we watched.

Oystercatchers were about as well. Two adults and two youngsters! One here with a more-or-less hidden young one (you'll have to click to enlarge to get even the tiniest glimpse of it)

and slightly closer, the other one was hiding amongst the greenery.

Two pairs of the captive Bewick swans had had cygnets. This pair had just the one..

whilst on the other side, the family had two young ones.

We came across this female Pheasant walking along the pathway. She was calling gently ..

and then two young ones came into sight in response to Mum's cries.

And finally, a posing Oystercatcher at the final hide we visited.

Didn't see a single common Tern; which was a pity as the Tern raft is very near the visitor centre.. Last June they were breeding there when I managed to get some shots of them - ( see here)

A very relaxed day. Only down-side? We had something to eat in the cafe. I don't know if it's under new management but it was a disappointing snack and poor choices. Hopefully it will improve.

Monday, 28 June 2010

A very hot stroll around Bushy Park!

Yesterday was HOT. It's been over 27 C (80 plus in Fahrenheit for the last few days). Now, I'm the first to admit I was pleading for warmer weather but.... there are limits and the current temperatures exceed (for me) acceptable limits. It's cooler by the coast but inland where I am - Phew!!

I had a very gentle wander through Bushy Park on Sunday, attracted by the woods and the cool they would offer.

On the way through the first garden, the reflections were evident in the still day.

The solitary white duck - was I seeing double?

A mum and her four kids trying to keep cool by not moving and..

Dad looks as though he's going into eclipse already - where did Spring go?

As I walked further along, I had an objective of finding...
Banded Demoiselles. They were there and many of them. But they don't stay still for too long.

It's amazing how the different lights, can change the colours of the females!

OK - Through the main park on my way to the water. A cold apple juice bought from the kiosk and consumed gratefully (together with a piece of fruit cake for lunch!)

The fallow deer were looking for, and finding, shady spots under the trees.

Over by the edge of the pond, a rather late group of four Egyptian Geese were feeding.

Five cygnets now growing up.

and beginning to lose that dull grey for the snowy white of the teen-aged bird.

And not swimming but walking, these two red deer just stood about in the water cooling off. I was tempted to join them!

Eventually a Cob Swan aggressive chased them and.... they left!!

Nearly at the end of the pond, this very young family were behaving very tidily following Dad!
(this is better enlarged... by clicking on it)

A female Red Crested Pochard preened.

as did "Punk" (the hybrid Red-crested Pochard/Tufted Duck)

By now the heat was getting silly so I headed off home. And lazed about!!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Zorbing!! and becoming a teenager.

"What is Zorbing?" I asked. Well it seems not many people know and I was one of them. The English Tourist Board describe it thus:-
The Zorb is a gigantic inflatable pvc ball standing about three metres in height, which contains another smaller ball that is suspended into position by thousand nylon strands of varying colours. You can choose between a harness (strapped in) or hydro (sloshing about in water) Zorb experience and both are fantastically good fun.
Last Saturday was the day my grandson reached his teens!! So he and a friend went Zorbing (they were "harnessed" but now rather like the idea of water!!!) to celebrate this landmark event. What was amazingly spectacular was the venue - on the top of Devil's Dyke in West Sussex. What is even more amazing is that, given the time I spend in that county, I've never been to the top of Devil's Dyke before.

Despite the bitterly cold northerly wind (hard to imagine in today's heat!), the views had me routed to the spot.

We walked off along the top until we came to the site of Zorbing!

Looking out over to Fulking Escarpment the boys were keen to get there.

Eventually we started a downhill bit and could see what was ahead!

J's friend was the first on board and then J (following instructions) took a run up and, literally, dived through the small aperture to get into the Zorb!

Now inside duly strapped and just the crash helmet to be put on.

And...... off they went

Down and..


It was all over so quickly but the shouts from the boys indicated they were having a fantastic time - I was green just watching!

And then a vehicle brought both Zorb and boys back up to us again.

Finally we walked back up to the top and look down on where we had been.

OK - after a walk back uphill to the car we had an ice cream; the boys having recovered their balance and stomachs by now ;)

and then off into Brighton. The boys had a burger then off to the cinema. My daughter and I went and had a leisurely lunch at Brighton Marina and then wandered around the shops and art galleries until it was time to meet the lads.

It was a great day and thoroughly enjoyed by all of us. Happy Birthday again J :D
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